Neem oil for plants makes one of my least favorite subjects to discuss – plant pests – at least bearable.
It’s not from the fact plant bugs bother me, it’s a part of growing. Every “grower” handles pests control differently.
- In application method
- “Chemical” used
- Timing of control
It’s really a matter of preference. My preference… after spraying crops for years is to use the best product for the job with the least amount of damage… to the environment and people.
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Homeowners just don’t have that choice yet.
Are There Safe Natural Organic Pest Control Alternatives?
While doing some research on pest and their control for our Dracaena eBook (shameful plug there). I started using neem oil for plants with pests issues. As more gardeners looked to a more natural approach neem continues to gain a following and usage.
What About The Neem Oil Insecticide
The Neem oil spray comes from the oil extracted by “pressing” the seed of the Azadiracta indica Juss tree. Native to eastern India and Burma, the use of neem products for health purposes and pest control in India dates back thousands of years.
Claims are that the bark and leaves have quite a few anti’s covered.
…to name a few.
Neem Oil For Plants Safe?
Organic, natural neem products are used in medication and consumed by humans. Therefore, any exposure while treating your plants does not pose a treat. But, I would always wear a protection chemical clothing and a pesticide respirator when spraying plants. The EPA has no restrictions in place.
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I’ve spoke to growers using neem oil spray as an insecticide in their “pest control” program. They are very pleased with the results. Not just from the safety aspect… but the control.
They have found the the natural pesticide to be effective as an insect repellent but also a general purpose insecticide – miticide and fungicide. It also functions as an antifeedant which discourages insects feeding patterns. Insects would rather die than eat plants treated with neem. Penn State also suggest using neem oil in the control of lawn grubs.
Neem extracts show incredible success with not only battling fungus problems but also many forms of root rot.
Neem biodegrades in a matter of weeks when exposed to the sunlight.
Tips on using as an Insecticide
- Pure Neem will retain its potency much longer if stored at about 40 degrees F in low light
- Don’t mix any more than you need
- Add water and a little soap before you spray
- Use a garden sprayer to completely cover the plant including the undersides of the leaves and potting media
- Mix 1 oz in 1 gallon of water. Use a weaker solution for maintenance
So Now the Question… Where To Find Neem Insecticide?
I’ve bought some at LOWE’s, and you can also get it from Amazon here.
For larger quantities of Neem it is distributed by:
South West Plantscape Products
Check South West for Pricing on 100% PURE NEEM
Neem used as an insecticide/pesticide looks like a great, SAFE, NATURAL solution for homeowners with pest problems.